On November 2, Belarusians mark the Day of All Souls (Dzyady). On the eve, believers go to the cemetery to light candles in memory of their dead. Very often the candles dim there until the early hours.
On Sunday, an authorized event took place in Minsk. Belsat TV was livestreaming the event:
About 250 participants gathered at the Luch factory and marched to Kurapaty, a Stalin-era mass execution site.
Kurapaty, a place on the outskirts of Minsk, is not just the national memorial and a mass grave of the victims of Stalinist repression; since 1993, it has been is a site of historical and cultural heritage. According to historians, 100,000 – 250,000 persons might have been killed there. A vast number of people were executed between 1937 and 1941 during the Great Purge by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.
Archeologist Zyanon Paznyak’s unveiling the dark past of Kurapaty and further exhumation of the remains in 1988 gave an added momentum to the pro-democracy and pro-independence movement in Belarus in the last years of the USSR.
On October 29, activists came here to mark the Executed Poets’ Night and pay the tribute to Belarusian cultural figures who were shot down in Kurapaty on 29-30 October, 1937 with the consent of Josef Stalin.